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Natural & Organic
The Demands of Natural Product Claims on Fragrance
By: Sara Mason
Posted: August 11, 2009, from the August 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.
page 5 of 6For a brand such as Yves Rocher—which recently relaunched with a new identity focused on its tagline, “The Creator of Botanical Beauty”—choices in terms of fragrance ingredients and the creation of these ingredients are also made with the environmental impact in mind. “We [utilize fragrance] molecules that are as neutral as possible for the environment,” says Kayser. “We test our formulas’ biodegradability and their eco-toxicity to validate that they don’t have any environmental impact once they are rinsed and enter our waterway.”
Petrochemical materials, a non-renewable resource, also post a greater risk of causing environmental damage, as they are slow to degrade, and natural, renewable and responsibly sourced materials also have a positive social impact—demonstrated in the process of sourcing and creating with many organic materials. “By purchasing organic products, companies and consumers create demand for high-quality products and ingredients that support environmentally responsible local farms and sustain indigenous people around the world,” says Shiozawa.
Today’s information technologies provide consumers with tremendous insight into how corporations do business, how the aroma is created and manufactured, and the potential environmental consequences of this process. For companies whose green missions are based on inherent values, not a marketing objective, the commitment to environmental sustainability and reporting is important, and allows consumers to align themselves with socially responsible businesses. Aveda’s transparent business model, for example, has allowed consumers to trace its path of environmental responsibility from soil to bottle and has been key to the brand’s success.
“Sustainability opens new ways of thinking and doing business, both theoretically and practically, for each individual and for the company,” adds Sabará. Beraca, which features Ecocert certification for its range of organic ingredients, has full traceability of its processes, and adds value to the relationship with local communities and local associations.
Walk the Talk
While discerning and weighing the benefits and outcomes between a nature-inspired scent and a truly natural one remains an issue, the olfactory trend toward nature cannot be mistaken. From citrus and cucumber to sweet-tart pomegranate and passion fruit, consumers want unique, light aromas inspired by nature. And as those who buy natural perceive a tangible benefit in buying these products, they are less likely to trade down anytime soon, even when wallets are light. “These days it seems everyone is on a budget, but everybody’s budget is not small,” said Envie Bath & Body’s Mattox. “There is a market for me, I just have to find who they are.” For brands who walk the talk on green standards, however, they will find you.